Durga Puja – Here and There

Durga Pratima Bisarjan - IIT Kharagpur Campus during the seventies.Few minutes ago an old friend of mine called to wish me for the upcoming Durga Puja festivals. He said, “It’s Mahasasthi in Kolkata today!” I wished him back, but it occurred to me that it’s Mahasashti everywhere, not only in Kolkata. When I reminded him, he laughed and said, “Yes indeed. But our Sasthi starts on coming Friday!” And he is absolutely right. Our Pujo in New Jersey (I am referring to the Kallol Durga Pujo which we both attend), starts on October 15th, Friday evening and that’s our Mahasasthi. The thought does give me some consolation that Pujo is yet to start and we have few more days to look forward too. But my friends and family in Kolkata have started enjoying their Pujo. They have started posting photos of their favorite idols on Facebook and Orkut, sending Pujo greetings through emails and expressing their joy and merriment. ETV Bangla is taking us through the streets of Kolkata and the online newspapers and magazines giving us day by day commentary of the Pujo happenings. And we cannot deny that this does cause a bit of a tinge in our hearts. Continue reading

Community News Bites: Banaprastha and Urhalpool

ECTA’s latest production “Banaprastha” premiered at the Edison Valley Playhouse on May 16th in front of a full house. The play was very well received by the audience as you can see in the accompanying video.  The second show was held on May 17th. Besides the video comments, here are some of the comments sent over the email.

We thoroughly enjoyed Banaprasta. This is a very timely production. I wish this drama can be viewed by millions Indians in India in view of the fact that India is crazy about Bollywood. Once again congratulations for presenting a great drama.” – Aurobindo Mukherjee

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Movie Release : Piyalir Password

Piyalir Password is the first Bengali film shot entirely on locations in the US, particularly in Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC. The movie has been subtitled in English. For more information www.piyalirpassword.net


The film will be screened at 2:00 PM on 11th April at the TV Asia Studios, 76 National Road, Edison, NJ 08817

The lead actor of the film Rituparna Sengupta will be present in the beginning of the show and talk about the film.

The film is being presented by Center for Social Change www.centerforsocialchange.org, an organization serving individuals with developmental disabilities for the past 15 years, worlwide.

Tickets are $10 dollars and available online at www.sulekha.com and www.centerforsocialchange.org. Additionally ticket reservations can be made with Sonali Ganguly (tel: 732 203 7310) and Devasish Ray (tel: 240 988 1112)

Raj Basu (703)507-6420 (cell) rajbasu@msn.com rkbasu@gmail.com

Slumdog Millionaire: A Mumbai Two Crore Opera

When you watch Danny Boyle’s latest rags-to-riches fairy tale “Slumdog Millionaire”, you’ll experience an emotional roller-coaster ride that only Mumbai can offer. The city that never sleeps, the city that is in the center of the center of the world (as mentioned by Salim in the movie), a city that has an economic and social contrast ratio of 20,000,000:1, reveals itself on the screen as Danny Boyle and his screen writer Simon Beaufoy (based on the novel Q&A by Vikas Swarup) masterfully crafts the film using the television game show “Kaun Banega Crorepati?” or “Who wants to be a Millionaire?” as the spine of the story. Indian slum and street life has been explored by many international film makers like Mira Nair (Salaam Bombay) and Roland Joffe (City of Joy) amongst others, but Slumdog brings to life the dark as well as the bright side of the city of Mumbai in a style that is shocking and heart warming at the same time. Continue reading